Most of us eagerly welcome technology into our daily lives. We’re delirious from all the convenience, mobility and free time that recent advancements have afforded us. But what happens when the honeymoon is over and all you’re left with is a high-tech hangover and a cold unfeeling device that refuses to communicate?

A recent bed and breakfast owner recently found out, when her relationship with Square, the gizmo that allows merchants to accept credit card payments using a smart phone or tablet, went from delightful to dysfunctional. By filling out an online form, downloading the app and plugging a credit card reader into her phone, the B&B owner was able to easily process credit cards with no long term commitments, no monthly fees and reduced swipe charges.

Yes, life was good at the quaint B&B. The air was filled with aroma of fresh-baked quiche. The walls were covered in floral wallpaper. Beds were piled high with hand-crafted artisan throw pillows and cats lounged on doily covered sofas. But when a guest disputed a room charge, the lavender scented sashet hit the fan.

The B&B owner was amazed to learn that Square did not take phone calls from its customers. Instead, an automated message directs them to an online help center or invites them to email their questions before abruptly disconnecting the call. After not being able to reach a resolution via email, she drove two hours to the company’s San Francisco headquarters where she waited in the lobby for another two hours. When no one would see her to resolve her issue in person, security guards threatened to call the police and Square deactivated her account, saying “high-risk activity was detected.”

Apparently, this is not an isolated incident. On, there are almost 1,200 comments about Square, many of which are negative and 837 complaints have been filed with the Better Business Bureau.

Square defends its customer service stating that it typically responds to emails within 24 hours. It also has a Twitter feed dedicated solely to customer service issues. If it freezes someone’s funds because a transaction appears suspicious or a buyer has disputed a charge, Square claims that in “many instances,” it gives small-business owners a phone number to call.

Many instances….hmm. One wonders if the Square spokesperson actually made air quote gestures as he or she made that comment. One thing is certain – everything comes with a price. Is this frustration over the lack of personal service the price to be paid for reduced merchant fees? When faced with returning to the hefty fees charged by the credit card companies that came with a call center staffed with an army of customer service professionals, which option would most merchants select?

What is most baffling is the refusal of many businesses to make a pleasant person available by phone. Even if that person was not able to resolve the issue, they could mitigate much of the aggravation by simply allowing the unsatisfied client to vent. Not everyone can clearly communicate their issue via email, but everyone wants to be heard.

So how would your customer rate your service resolution? Are you responsive and personal? Or are you cold and aloof? CIMA Insight can help you find out without visiting the Better Business Bureau’s complaint center. Contact us to learn more.

Inspired by a recent article by Jessica Guynn of the Tribune